Reaction: Texas gets two seeds in NCAA Tournament


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After a very impressive regular season that ended with a 23-8, 12-6 conference record, Texas came out and put the icing on the cake by winning the Big XII Tournament, where they blew the Kansas, 76-56, Kansas. City. This Texas team had a high ceiling heading into the season, as well as certain expectations; most had Texas between 12 and 15 in their preseason polls.

Texas did what Texas teams apparently never do: outplay. They far outperformed their pre-season rankings, narrowly missing out on a 1 seed but having a super successful season despite the turmoil that occurred in early December.

Rodney Terry’s reign was pretty damn successful, despite what many thought after that very first game he was interim head coach, where the team nearly lost to Rice in overtime. It was panic mode in the Longhorns basketball fandom; but the players?

Players never fold.

It’s a legitimately great team with a lot of experience and maturity, a team full of guys who have sacrificed their egos for the good of others. Rodney Terry’s leadership has been palpable throughout the season as he rallied this team beyond what many thought possible. I don’t know if Beard would have had this team in better shape. It’s possible, of course, but Rodney Terry was a fantastic motivator as well as a pretty smart Xs an Os guy.

This unlikely season saw Texas secure a second seed. Yes I know. Everyone wanted a 1 seed, and Texas probably deserved to have one, but there’s no reason to cry about it. Don’t be the Kansas Jayhawks affiliate account for Barstool Sports (starting a jam with them) and whine all day long.

Let’s take a look at what Texas’ first games might look like.

Rd. on 64: (15) Colgate.

Thursday, Texas faces 15 seeds Colgate in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa. Colgate is a Patriot League team, a team that has played great basketball all season on both sides of the ball. Colgate is no joke – they can legitimately turn off the lights. As a team, they reach 40.8%. Yes, as a team.

Colgate has four guys hitting over 42.1% from beyond the arc. Oliver Lynch-Daniels shoots 50.3 percent (4.9 attempts) on three, while Ryan Moffat shoots 45.6 percent on 4.3 attempts. They also have Chandler Baker (43.4% on 2.2 attempts), Nicolas Louis-Jacque (42.1% on 1.2 strikes per game) and Braeden Smith, who shoots 36.8% on 2.8 strikes.

It’s a little scary.

They average in the upper 70s in points per game at 76.5, and driving that offense is goaltender Tucker Richardson, who is the leading scorer (13.9 points/game) and leading passer (5, 8 cents/game). He’s also like the only guy on this list who isn’t an absolute sniper from the deep. He was, averaging nearly 37% last season, down from 31.9% this year.

So even if their numbers aren’t great at depth, Texas will still have to fight on the screens instead of playing the drop because they could get hot. Texas will have to rely on their perimeter defense in this one to ensure they aren’t upset in their first game as the 2 seed.

It’s happened before, but I don’t think this team is letting that happen to them.

Rd. on 32: (7) Texas A&M / (10) Penn State

In the second round, Texas would face the winner of Texas A&M and Penn State, a 7/10 game that should be really interesting, as both teams have played better in the second half of the year.

Penn State, like Colgate, are doing very well on all three, 12th in the nation at 38.7%. They are also fifth in the nation in three-point shots per game (10.5) and 13th in three-point attempts at 27.1/game.

Penn State’s biggest offensive problem is that they’re nearly last out of 366 teams in free throw attempts and marks per game. They don’t attack the basket a ton, 319th in the nation in two-point attempts per game at 30.1. Because of this, they also don’t rebound particularly well, as they’re 362nd in offensive rebounds per game.

They just kill you deep, basically, but since they live by the threes, they also die by the threes. Like the Colgate game, if Penn State were to upset Texas A&M, Texas would have to rely on its perimeter defense to snuff out the bomb onslaught from the Nittany Lions guards.

If Texas faces its rival Texas A&M in the round of 16, they will have another set of issues to deal with. A&M is a more physical team than Penn State indoors, as they are a very good offensive rebounding team, where they rank 30th with 12.2/game. As we all know, it is Texas kryptonite. When they come out rebounded, they usually lose.

The Aggies are also the best team in the nation at reaching the FT line and hitting free kicks, where they lead the nation in both categories (19.2 marks and 25.3 FT attempts). That would take some finesse from Texas defensively as A&M tries to get into the bonus early. The Big XII is such a brutal brand of basketball that teams in this conference will likely have to give up some of the physicality that umpires in other leagues might call, so that’s an advantage for A&M.

Both are scary issues to deal with, but Texas are better than A&M in many areas – they shoot better from the outside, they take better care of the ball, they’re bigger than A&M and have a lot more tournament experience. among their players. that A&M. While it wouldn’t surprise me to see A&M take the lead in the first half, I think Texas will end up dominating them with superior players.

This is an Elite Eight team.


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